Valerie Jarrett is a Muslim and Controls the White House – Fiction!

Valerie Jarrett is a Muslim and Controls the White House – Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:  

Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett is a Muslim and previously said she wanted to help America become more like Islamic countries.

The Truth:

Valerie Jarrett has never identified herself as a Muslim, and there’s no record of her saying that she wanted to help make America “more like Islamic countries.”

Valerie Jarrett supposedly she wanted to make America more like Islamic countries while she was study at Stanford University in 1977. The quote circulated on Twitter throughout President Obama’s time in office:

“I am a Iranian by birth and of my Islamic faith. I am also an American and I seek to help change America to be a more Islamic country. My faith guides me and I feel like it is going well in the transition of using freedom of religion in America against itself.”

The first red flag is how the quote is phrased. It’s not consistent with how an American students at an elite university like Stanford would talk. It was likely uttered by someone who isn’t very familiar with the English language, and Jarrett doesn’t fit the bill. In 1977, she was a junior at Stanford and had been living in the U.S. since she was five years old It’s unlikely she would say something like, “I am a Iranian by birth and of my Islamic faith.”

In truth, Valerie Jarrett was born in Iran — but to American parents. Her father was a geneticist and pathologist named Dr. James Bowman who was born in Washington, D.C. In 1955, he accepted a position in Iran to study favism, a glucose deficiency disease. Valerie Jarrett’s mother, Barbara Bowman, was born in Chicago and became a professor and expert in early childhood education.

Valerie Jarrett was born in 1956 while her parents were living in Shiraz, Iran. The family lived in London from 1961-1962 while James Bowman studied genetics. Then, the family moved to Chicago, the Stanford Alumni reports:

“Jarrett grew up in Hyde Park, the racially diverse neighborhood that abuts the University of Chicago, where her father worked. She went to Massachusetts for prep school, and on to the Farm (Stanford). Her conviction to attend Stanford was so strong it didn’t even occur to her to visit beforehand.”

Valerie Jarrett earned a degree in psychology at Stanford and then earned a law degree from the University of Michigan. She entered politics in the 1980s, working for former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. It was while traveling in Chicago’s social and political circles that Jarrett met Barack and Michelle Obama.

Valerie Jarrett has served as a senior advisor to President Obama since his inauguration — and it’s true that a number of former White House staffers like press secretary Robert Gibbs and chief of staff Rahm Emanual  reportedly resigned or were fired after run-ins with Jarrett. So, as the rumor claims, she had a great deal of sway in the Obama White House.

The press has also had an uncomfortable relationship with Valerie Jarrett, with a number of news outlets reporting that it’s not clear exactly what she does in the White House. Politico reports:

“For starters, even today, nobody knows precisely what Jarrett does in the White House. What exactly do her titles—senior advisor to the president, assistant to the president in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Public Engagement, the White House Council on Women and Girls—mean? More to the point, Jarrett has often used the aura of authority that these titles give her to stand in the way of talented White House staffers and a smoother-running administration, according to several books that have been written about the Obama presidency.”

So, Valerie Jarrett has had a number of well-documented run-ins with former White House staffers and has faced questions about what exactly her role in the Obama Administration is. But claims about Jarrett’s religious beliefs, or her intention to make America more like Islamic countries are false.